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On The Table Read, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, we take a look at the family trees in Game Of Thrones spin off, House Of The Dragon.

House of the Dragon, the first of several planned spin-offs to HBO’s Game of Thrones (GoT), recently wrapped up its first season, achieving good reviews across the board. Whether it stands up to the quality of its predecessor is subjective but it’s hard to deny that Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin’s hack n’ slash fantasy has erased the taste of GoT’s final outing from our collective mouths. 

Protagonist Families

Martin’s meandering storytelling is one of the biggest draws of the wider A Song of Ice and Fire franchise – and nowhere is this more evident than in the saga’s warring clans, whose family trees are usually more branches than trunks. The Houses of Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, and Targaryen get much of the spotlight, but minor families like Tully, Greyjoy, Tyrell, and Arryn make an appearance.

The problem is that, outside of the protagonist families, the scale and scope of each family can become a little meaningless. For instance, the beginnings of the Targaryen and Baratheon families are found in a marriage between members of the two clans in c.5,000BC. Considering that season eight of Game of Thrones takes place in 305AC, some 5,305 years later, there’s an awful lot of history to be unravelled – and quickly forgotten about. 

For the sake of brevity, plenty of resources dedicated to A Song of Ice and Fire don’t take the entire history of its families into account at all. An infographic made by ExpressVPN outlines the Targaryen family tree from House of the Dragon to Game of Thrones, leaving out the group’s formative years. In fact, the infographic begins around 42AC, deleting five millennia of history from the record books.


Of course, this has to be done. No screenwriter or viewer has the patience to outline generations of fraternising between people and families that no longer exist. The earliest days of the Targaryen and Baratheon peoples involved courtships with House Durrandon, for example, which died out before the plot in the Game of Thrones TV show even began.

Yet, this richness is what makes A Song of Ice and Throne a limitless source of stories. The news, from Wiki of Thrones, that several spin-offs have recently been dumped by HBO is disappointing, then, as stories like Nine Voyages of the Sea Snake and Ten Thousand Ships may never get their time on the screen. Bloodmoon, a $30m series, was sacrificed to make House of the Dragon.

The Radio Times website notes that Bloodmoon suffered from the same issues as GoT’s family trees, namely, parts of it had never been explored, even by George R.R. Martin. This might sound like an exciting concept for a TV treatment but a complete lack of familiarity with the source material means that fans have nothing to connect with, unlike the Targaryens in House of the Dragon. 

In summary, the size and complexity of the families in A Song of Ice and Fire is a bit of a poisoned chalice. They can be fun to explore but only when bookended by something familiar. Otherwise, fans get lost in the intermingling.

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